Four Northeastern Minnesota hospitals have received state recognition for achieving high flu vaccination rates among its healthcare employees.

All four are part of Essentia Health, which requires its employees to get flu shots, unless they have medical exemptions.

Facilities are recognized as "FluSafe" if they achieve 90% or higher employee flu vaccination rates, according to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services set a 90% vaccination rate as a goal for health care workers by 2020. The national flu vaccination rate for health care workers is about 78%, according to the state health department.

Statewide, 43 hospitals and 26 nursing homes achieved 90% or higher employee flu vaccination rates. The Northeastern Minnesota hospitals to reach that mark are Essentia Health-Deer River in Itasca County; and Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center, Essentia Health-Virginia and Essentia Health-Northern Pines in St. Louis County.

No nursing homes in the region were listed as reaching 90% or better.